This weekend I decided to take everything off the shelves in our living room to deep clean and re style them. This is one of my favorite ways to make our space feel different without having to buy anything new. I snapped a few pictures after I was done to you show you the basic layout I find myself gravitating towards when working with taller built ins. Some things will inevitably shift around, but it can be a fun challenge to only work with the pieces you have and only buy something if there really is an obvious gap or if a piece isn’t the right size.
Our shelves are all really odd heights and they don’t line up with the built in on the other side of the tv. They are fixed, so we can’t move them around and get stuck with a mix of large and small openings. At first I found this really frustrating and hard to work around, but now I like the different layerings of height and push my self to come up with better solutions. Shelf styling is all about great books. They are truly the building block and the easiest way to incorporate color, texture and a play on sizing. I prefer to have a majority of my books horizontal (because most are coffee table books) this serves as a great base to layer accessories next to or on top of.
For the larger shelves it was really important to have art to fill in the negative space. Just like books, small pieces of art can be layered to help fill awkward spaces and look more finished. I prefer wall style frames (with no back) that prop up against the wall of the shelf. This only works with shelves that aren’t super deep so you can actually see the art. Once these items are set in place I like to fill in accessories. A mix of vases, decorative objects, candles, trays, plants, etc. all make a huge impact on a shelf. My rule of thumb is to make sure everything feels balanced and create a cohesive color palette. For example my shelves are so neutral, a red book wouldn’t really work because it would stick out way too much. If you incorporate items you love and books you like to look at you can’t go wrong!